“Yes hunny, I know you're making dinner and your parents are in town, I promise I’ll be home at 6…”
"Team needs help."
"Traffic is bad."
"I’m out of gas"…you get the picture.
We often are not very realistic with the timelines we set for ourselves - and that’s just making it home for dinner.
Think about all of the times you’ve underestimated how long it will take you to get to a destination..after all, Atlanta is just two hours away, right?
As many times as I’ve traveled somewhere, I most often plan for the best case scenario. The no hiccups scenario. The no curveballs scenario.
And that is when I know ALL of the information ahead of time.
Call it DNA, but most of us are just wired to underestimate what it will take.
It’s not good to be late for dinner, but it’s really bad when we are talking about REALLY BIG initiatives that drive our business.
So, the next time you lead your team through an exercise of estimating timing for what you need done most, use these 5 tips so you can help create a more realistic timeline:
- Be clear where you’re going - You are not pioneers forging your way through unknown territory with no guidance. Use what you know to establish a clear path AND destination for your team to follow.
- Be clear who’s driving - You are the guide. Your team needs you to lead them in this area. Avoid just telling them where they need to be and help then think critically about how long it will take to get there.
- Make the best determination, given the information that you have - If you wait to get all of the information you'll ever need, someone has already blazed a clear path and you’ll be left in mixed thoughtless traffic like everyone else. Use what you know to start, but don’t stop there.
- Recalibrate regularly - Just like today’s navigation systems, adjust accordingly, unless you just like anticipating and living through really slow progress.
- Be realistic with the horsepower you have - You have limited resources. That is a reality of today’s nimble businesses. Too bulky, you can’t change directions quickly enough. Too lean, you’ll run out of gas. Be realistic and get the necessary horsepower to get you where you want to go.
We all want to unlock the potential that our next initiative holds. But ignoring a few small steps could mean your acting as a guide with no ability to navigate.
Be your best guide and get there faster!